Times of India | 3 months ago | 25-01-2022 | 08:54 pm
PANAJI: TMC on Tuesday released its third list declaring candidates for six more constituencies. It has selected Tarak Arolkar for Mapusa, a former sarpanch Bholanath Ghadi Sakhalkar for Saligao, while Jayesh Shetgaonkar will contest from Mormugao and Saifula Khan has been given a ticket to contest from Vasco. Kanta Gaude will contest from Quepem and Rakhi Naik from Sanguem. Some of its candidates whose tickets were announced on Tuesday had joined TMC only last month, and it needs to be seen what impression they will make on voters. While TMC has entered into a pre-poll alliance with MGP, it is yet unclear how much the former will benefit from the arrangement. Although MGP does not have a pan-Goa presence, it does hold votes in select constituencies. Mapusa was its stronghold once and it is expected to still have some loyalists there. The seat is currently being held by BJP.
Panaji: Acting on directions issued by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL) has commissioned a three-month rapid environment impact assessment (EIA) for the Rs 2.1-crore concrete jetty for fishermen at Ribandar. The project, which is being taken up under the Smart City mission, aims to redevelop the dilapidated wooden jetty currently used by local fishermen. IPSCDL wants to replace the existing jetty with a concrete wharf, which is expected to take 12 months to complete. The GCZMA has said that before any construction activity begins, the EIA and environment management plan needs to be prepared and submitted based on which environmental clearances will come in. “IPSCDL intends to appoint an agency to prepare the rapid EIA and EMP reports,” said an IPSCDL official. The agency will have to study the environmental regulatory requirements applicable for the fishing jetty at Ribandar. The study will focus on the impact on the land, ambient air quality, marine environment and the biological ecosystem based on which an environmental monitoring plan will be prepared.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday held a meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and discussed the body’s proposal of establishing a Regional Indian Culinary Institute in Goa. Sawant expressed his support for the project in Goa and said that any tourism department building or a closed school building will be identified to run the institute from. The CM said CII could renovate such a structure and start the Institute after completing the required formalities. Sougata Roy Choudhury, senior director at CII, briefed the CM about the proposal. He said that the Regional Culinary Institute is planned in Goa by CII in partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne of Switzerland. This will be in addition to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Swiss Professional Diploma program being launched with IHCL (Taj Luxury Hotel properties). He said the various regional cuisines in India have a rich heritage and potential and there is a need to create this “lighthouse for regional Indian cuisines”. The CII said this will enable locals to acquire the much required knowledge and equip them for job placements in India and abroad. Roy Choudhury said this institute will train local youth to match world-class standards in the hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise-lines, catering and travel industry.
Vasco: Following parts of Vasco and Mormugao talukas suffering a 21-hour power outage after a gas pipeline contractor accidentally damaged three 33kV underground cables, Mormugao Congress MLA Sankalp Amonkar questioned if the works had the necessary permissions for road digging. Amonkar demanded that the contractor be fined for the damages and strict action be initiated against him for damage caused to public property and losses incurred by businesses, besides the inconvenience posed to the public. Locals from Mormugao constituency and part of Vasco constituency went without power for almost 22 hours due to the damage caused to the three major underground cables. Amonkar night along with his supporters reviewed the ongoing repair works of the underground cables on Thursday. The Mormugao MLA also raised doubts about the safety of the underground gas pipeline. He said that in the past due to NAFTA pipeline blasts many people had lost their lives and got injured.
Panaji: People using the Zuari bridge on Friday were put through tremendous hardship due to traffic jams with the usual 45-minute between Panaji and Margao taking them three hours and more. Some attributed the recurring problem to the lanes converging into single lanes on the Zuari bridge while others blamed police for poor traffic management. Traffic jams were seen on either side of the Zuari bridge — Cortalim and Agasaim — with rains worsening the situation. People brought out their four-wheelers instead of two-wheelers adding to the congestion. What aggravated the already existing problem was a car that had a tyre puncture right in the middle of the bridge in the morning making it necessary to call in a crane to clear the way. Later in the day there was an accident involving a four-wheeler and Kadamba bus where the party didn’t agree and wanted a panchnama to be filed. The spot was cleared later and passengers shifted to another bus. People appealed to chief minister Pramod Sawant via social media for a solution to the Cortalim-Agasaim traffic mess. “@DrPramodPSawant We didn’t mind when the petrol price crossed 105. But what the point in wasting 4/5 litres in traffic jam? #trafficmanagement #Goa #Megablock,” one netizen tweeted. “@Goapolice1091 huge traffic jam at Zuari bridge due to mismanagement by policemen stationed there @DrPramodPSawant @goacm @DGP_Goa,” another tweeted. DYSP traffic, South Goa, Dharmesh Angle said traffic police were on their toes trying to address the problem. He said there was additional strain on the traffic as people who otherwise travel by two-wheelers brought out their four-wheelers due to the incessant rains. The tyre puncture on the bridge and the accident stopped traffic as a result of which vehicles kept piling up on either end of the bridge, he said. At any given time 35 to 55 vehicles pass over the Zuari bridge every minute, he said, adding that, in the event of an accident, the stoppage of traffic even for five minutes has cascading effects on traffic on both sides of the bridge and this backlog continues. A government official told TOI that there is no solution to the traffic problem as multiple lanes on either side of the bridge converge into a single lane on Zuari bridge. “The bridge carpet can only allow one lane. The bottleneck is Zuari bridge itself. People will require to have patience till the new bridge is opened,” he said. Meanwhile, traffic police have permitted bridge work to take place on either side of the bridge, which may affect traffic, only during non peak hours, Angle said. He said the contractor has been asked not to carry out any work that will block the maximum width of the route during peak hours. Traffic police have found that the majority of jams take place on Saturday when officer goers leave for their native places and when families get out for the weekend. “It’s unfortunate that the government has not been able to find a solution and address the plight of the commuters on this stretch for the last four years. Bridges are built the world over but the commuters are not made to suffer in such a manner,” one commuter said.
Panaji: The state’s plans for heli tourism that were grounded since 2016 following protests by Sinquerim locals, took off on Friday after a private agency, Blade India, an urban air mobility company, launched the state’s first helicopter service from the helipad at Aguada. The Blade India announced three rides — connecting airport to South and North Goa, charter service from Maharashtra and within Goa and a 10-minute experiential flights giving a bird’s eye view of the state’s coastline. Five years ago, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had to discontinue the project after local fishing community and villagers, supported by some local politicians, raised objections to the use of the same helipad. The GTDC tried to operate the service by moving it to South Goa, but it had to be discontinued for logistic reasons. Chief minister Pramod Sawant who launched the service exuded confidence that there won’t be “opposition” now and appreciated Blade India for taking the risk. “There was an opposition, then but I don’t think people will oppose these kind of services, now,” Sawant said replying to a query. Last year, the GTDC had commissioned a helipad at Old Goa and declared that it will re-launch the helicopter service. Sawant said that it could not start since permission from CRZ authority is awaited. In the past, the project was delayed as GTDC had to finalise a location for a helipad and later since it had to retender to select a service provider. Having a helicopter service in Goa, Sawant said, will boost tourism and help the tourists explore the hinterlands of the state. “The government will help the agency in getting permissions required to commence operations,” Sawant said. Blade India has identified landing points in Surla and Sanquelim in North Goa. The company’s founder Karanpal Singh said they will use the present infrastructure and also create new helipads with the help of the government. Blade India’s strategic partner Airbus Helicopters’ India and South Asia head Sunny Guglani said despite having rich flora and fauna, the country has not been able to attract more tourists as it is hard to reach the interiors. “We need solutions to connect potential tourists both foreign and Indian and create economic opportunities. Goa has beautiful beaches, forts and waterfalls. I think helicopters can play a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of Goa,” he said. Goa can lead the way for the rest of the country, Gunglani said. Copter service can be used for medical emergencies: CM TNN Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said Blade India’s helicopter services in the state can be used in case of medical emergencies, an option that was not available in the past. “In a medical emergency, where a patient needs to be immediately shifted to a hospital, wherever needed, the helicopter service can be availed. Sometimes, it takes two hours to transport a patient to a medical facility via road,” Sawant said. Goans and other travellers, he said, will also have the option of choosing helicopter service to visit nearby cities in Maharashtra or Karnataka, and help increase connectivity and also promote medical tourism. The chief minister said people from other neighbouring cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka will certainly use the helicopter services.